There are five early literacy practices which develop early literacy skills and help children get ready to read. Children who start Kindergarten with good pre-reading skills have an advantage. These practices are easy to incorporate into everyday activities and they are fun to do. Parents are a child's first teacher and children love doing things with a parent or other caring adult. Use the language you know best and start your child on a path toward reading success.
Conversations with your child will help them learn new information and new words. Stretch out conversations by asking questions and paraphrasing your child's responses, then adding new comments of your own. Use lots of descriptive words when you are speaking.
Songs are a natural way to learn about language. Children start to pay attention to the rhythms and rhymes of spoken language. Clapping along to rhythms helps children hear the syllables in words and improves motor skills. Singing also helps children learn new words and will add to their general knowledge.
Reading together with your child, no matter what age, is the single most important activity you can do to help your child get ready to read. Reading will introduce your child to words they may not hear during normal conversation. Knowing more words helps children become better readers. Shared reading develops a love of reading and appreciation for books. A child's interest in reading is an important predictor of later reading achievement.
Reading and writing go together. Both are ways to represent spoken words and communicate information. As children scribble and draw, they practice hand-eye coordination and exercise the muscles in their fingers and hands. This helps develop the fine motor skills needed to hold a pencil or crayon and write letters and words.
Children learn about language through different kinds of play. Play helps children think symbolically and develop oral language skills. When children play, they talk about what they are doing. They practice putting thoughts into words.
A child's home environment can help them get ready to read. It does not take money to create special places where you and your child can talk, sing, read, write and play. Your library helps children get ready to read. We have books, music, programs and services to help your child develop language and pre-reading skills. We have places to play and learn. We have programs for babies, toddlers and pre-school children that will reinforce all the early literacy skills your child needs to be a reader. You will have fun participating as well! Visit our Programs page or ask the librarian for more information on what programs are available to you.